Climate Change & Energy
Over the last two centuries, industrial activities, deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels have released high concentrations of heat-trapping agents called greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere. While a certain amount of greenhouse gas is important to keep our climate warm and livable, these higher concentrations are warming the Earth’s surface to temperatures that threaten life on our planet. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane are two GHGs that have increased dramatically due to human activity.
May 2011 to April 2012 was the warmest 12-month period on record for the U.S. From heat waves and drought in Texas in to rising sea levels in Virginia, climate change isn't coming in the future—it's literally happening in our backyards, right now.
Overwhelming scientific consensus and real-life impacts tell us that global warming is real, is caused by human activity, and is a significant threat to our health, economy and environment. Skeptical about that consensus? Read this.
The warming temperatures caused by GHGs are responsible for rising sea levels (from melting glaciers and ice shelves), melting permafrost, changes in the distribution of plants and animals, and the lengthening of seasons. Scientists are also increasingly confident in linking climate change to the catastrophic storms, droughts and hurricanes we’ve experienced in the last few years.
Climate change is expected to increase the risk of some infectious diseases—particularly those diseases occurring in warm areas—including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and encephalitis.
Other concerns, according to EarthShare member Natural Resources Defense Council, include deadly heat waves, drought, food and water shortages, and international conflict. Rising sea levels, desertification and depleted aquifers could displace millions of people from their homes. The Defense Department says that "climate change has a dramatic impact on national security."
During and following the industrial revolution, we acquired most of our energy—to build our cities, to transport goods and people, and more—through the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil. Fossil fuels are a finite, unsustainable source of energy and burning them produces the GHGs that lead to global warming. To solve these problems, EarthShare members are working not only on advocating for renewable energy, but also for lessening our waste through better energy efficiency and design.
on Climate Change & Energy
Though the facts of climate change are sobering, it’s not too late to make a difference. Here at EarthShare, we’re committed to supporting our member organizations' efforts to address climate change and scale up bold energy solutions. By supporting these organizations, you can make the world a better place for future generations.
- Making an online donation to EarthShare
- Introducing the EarthShare employee program to your workplace
- Buying renewable energy
- Reading the resources below to get informed and reduce your carbon footprint
- Tips to Fight Global Warming, Environmental Defense Fund*
- Cool It!: Tips for Going Green, National Wildlife Federation*
- 10 Things You Can Do to Curb Global Warming, Sierra Club*
- Greenhouse Gas Protocol, World Resources Institute*
- Climate Change News, Environmental and Energy Study Institute*
- Impacts of Global Warming, Union of Concerned Scientists*
- The Pew Center on Global Climate Change
- Electricity, Rocky Mountain Institute*
- Clean Energy: Turn Up Renewables, Turn Down Coal, Union of Concerned Scientists*
- Climate and Energy, Earthjustice*
- Repower America, Environment America*
- Energy, Natural Resources Defense Council*
* EarthShare member organization
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